If you’re looking to get a start in the travel industry, opening a hostel is an excellent way to do so. However, it’s important to be aware that this is a complex undertaking. The market can be fiercely competitive, but if you make it, you will have a pretty great job on your hands. Running a hostel can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to earn a living while meeting interesting people from all over the world. Here are some tips on how to break through and become a success story in the hostel business.
Plan your budget
Planning a budget for a hostel is pretty complicated. The first step involves planning your initial investment. This means you will need to calculate how much money you need to cover the costs of the real estate, all of the taxes and permits you need to obtain before you open, the furniture, linens, initial marketing – the list is pretty extensive. However, when you’re in the hostel business, you need to be able to think and plan ahead too. If your business gets off the ground, you will likely need to adapt in time, expand and anticipate the changing needs and wishes of your clientele.
Aim for comfort
Most people are not looking for luxury when they go to a hostel, but they do expect some basic comfort. Everyone likes to spend their time in a comfortable, clean space with as many amenities as possible. Less than stellar hygiene can be a huge turnoff, so make sure that the bathrooms, kitchen and beds are always clean. Also, remember to check and get rid of any parasites like cockroaches and bedbugs immediately. Remember to equip your hostel with quality appliances like hair dryers, a stove, a microwave, a kettle, a fridge and a TV. To keep it pleasant in the summer, you will need an AC system. Investing in quality brands like the reputable LG is a smart move – sturdy appliances last longer even with heavy use.
Find your target guests
One of the questions you need to ask yourself is – what kind of guests are you looking to attract? The answer will be a major factor in how you market your hostel. Nowadays when there are so many hotels and hostels and even Airbnb is thriving, it’s essential that you differentiate yourself from the competition in some way. Think about what you want your unique selling point to be. It could be an interesting theme, a complimentary breakfast or cheap private rooms. Whatever you choose,
Choose the perfect location
Location is a major selling point which can help you win over your guests. A lot of people are even willing to overlook some minor flaws if the location is right. If at all possible, aim for a central location, close to important attractions. However, it’s even better if you can be near enough, but located in a quiet area or street – away from the noise of the clubs, cafes and traffic. The vicinity of public transportation is a major plus too, so take bus and metro stops into consideration when choosing your space.
Don’t forget about legal issues
Opening a hostel requires a whole list of initial permits, and it’s best to consult a lawyer to make sure you don’t miss anything crucial. With so many people expected to come through your hostel, you will need to be safe too. Invest some money in basic safety precautions like a night guard and big and small lockers for luggage and valuables. Finally, depending on the country where you are opening your hostel, make sure you look into appropriate insurance for your venture. There are countless unforeseeable scenarios that can arise, and you need to protect your investment in case anything goes wrong. The hostel business has been on the rise lately, so relevant information shouldn’t be too hard to find.
One of the secrets to opening a successful hostel is personal experience. If you’ve traveled, think back on what you personally liked in the places you stayed at and what you thought could be improved. A healthy balance between a sound financial plan, plenty of comfort and a warm, personal approach is guaranteed to work in your favor.